After months of negotiation and speculation, Katie Couric‘s next stop will be ABC, where she got her start as a desk assistant in 1979. ABC announced that Couric, the former CNN and NBC reporter, “Today” show co-anchor and the first woman to solo anchor a network evening newscast — at CBS News — is moving to the world of syndication in a deal with Disney/ABC that also calls for contributions to ABC News beginning this summer.
Couric’s as-yet untitled syndicated show — which already has late afternoon clearance on the 8 ABC O&O’s — will begin in the fall of 2012 and will be executive produced by former NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker.
“It is tremendously exciting to have the creative freedom to develop my own show with Anne Sweeney and Jeff, and to contribute to such a vibrant, innovative news division,” said Couric.
In a note to staff, ABC News president Ben Sherwood writes, “While her primary mission will be to create and launch the new show, Katie is also joining our team at ABC News this summer, bringing her many talents to some of the most important and interesting stories of the day.”
Couric is in Los Angeles this morning — and will be on “The Tonight Show” tonight — as the deal was announced by Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks.
In her statement, Sweeney acknowledged Couric’s role with the news division: “Katie Couric is one of television’s iconic figures and we are thrilled to have forged such an exciting partnership with her. We look forward to having Katie join the best News team in the business, and to working with her to create a dynamic and successful talk show franchise.”
“I’ve known Katie for 14 years,” Sherwood writes, “and even with all of her success, I’m confident that her best days, biggest scoops and most powerful journalism lie directly ahead.”
Sherwood’s memo, and the news release from ABC, after the jump…